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Joanna Y. Wang, Amir H. Dorafshar, Ann Liu, Mari L. Groves and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

Because the metopic suture normally fuses during infancy, there are varying degrees of severity in head shape abnormalities associated with premature fusion. A method for the objective and reproducible assessment of metopic synostosis is needed to guide management, as current methods are limited by their reliance on aesthetic markers. The object of this study was to describe the metopic index (MI), a simple anthropometric cranial measurement. The measurements can be obtained from CT scans and, more importantly, from palpable cranial landmarks, and the index provides a rapid tool for evaluating patients in both pre- and postoperative settings.

METHODS

High-resolution head CT scans obtained in 69 patients (age range 0–24 months) diagnosed with metopic craniosynostosis were retrospectively reviewed. Preoperative 3D reconstructions were available in 15 cases, and these were compared with 3D reconstructions of 324 CT scans obtained in a control group of 316 infants (age range 0–24 months) who did not have any condition that might affect head size or shape and also in a subset of this group, comprising 112 patients precisely matched to the craniosynostosis patients with respect to age and sex. Postoperative scans were available and reviewed in 9 of the craniosynostosis patients at a mean time of 7.1 months after surgical repair. 3D reconstructions of these scans were matched with controls based upon age and sex.

RESULTS

The mean preoperative MI for patients with trigonocephaly was 0.48 (SD 0.05), significantly lower than the mean values of 0.57 (SD 0.04) calculated on the basis of all 324 scans obtained in controls (p < 0.001) and 0.58 (SD 0.04) for the subset of 112 age- and sex-matched controls (p < 0.001). For 7 patients with both pre- and postoperative CT scans available for evaluation, the mean postoperative MI was 0.55 (SD 0.03), significantly greater than their preoperative MIs (mean 0.48 [SD 0.04], p = 0.001) and comparable to the mean MI of the controls (p = 0.30). In 4 patients, clinically obtained postoperative MIs by caliper measurement were comparable to measurements derived from CT (p = 0.141).

CONCLUSIONS

The MI is a useful measurement of the severity of trigonocephaly in patients with metopic synostosis. This simple quantitative assessment can potentially be used in the clinical setting to guide preoperative evaluation, surgical repair, and postoperative degree of correction.

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Mari L. Groves, Patricia L. Zadnik, Pablo F. Recinos, Violette Renard and George I. Jallo

The authors present a case of a 27-year-old patient who presented with spastic gait and worsening difficulty walking over a 6 month period. Spinal MR imaging revealed a heterogeneously enhancing intramedullary spinal cord tumor (IMSCT) with associated syrinx in the cervical spine. The lesion was resected through posterior en bloc laminotomy, durotomy, and microscopic resection of the intramedullary component followed by laminoplasty reconstruction. Surgical resections with a goal of gross total resection can significantly improve overall survival and progression free survival in patients with low-grade IMSCT. The procedure is presented in an edited, high-definition format with accompanying narrative.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/Ui9bn82PtP8.

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Daniel J. Cognetti, Amer F. Samdani, Joshua M. Pahys, Mari L. Groves and Steven W. Hwang

Growing rod surgery for skeletally immature patients helps correct severe scoliosis while allowing continued spinal column growth. Previous reports have studied vertebral body changes following growing rod surgery, but there are currently no published reports on alterations in pedicle morphology. Given the potential need for definitive spinal fusion with pedicle screw instrumentation, an awareness of changes in pedicle morphology is critical. A morphometric analysis of pedicles was performed using 3D reconstructions of 3 CT scans (preoperative and at 3 and 6 years) obtained in a young girl with infantile idiopathic scoliosis (T7 apex) who underwent unilateral rib-to-spine growing rod (2nd–4th ribs to L1) implantation with lengthening every 6 months for 6 years. The pedicle widths on the growing rod side from T5 to T9 (apex ± 2) were all smaller at 6 years postoperatively than preoperatively, while the same-level pedicles opposite the device significantly increased in width. These findings support anecdotal intraoperative reports by surgeons and provide evidence of pedicle stress shielding due to growing rod distraction and force deprivation.

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Justin M. Caplan, Mari Groves, Ignacio Jusue-Torres, Jennifer E. Kim, Jason Liauw, Ali Bydon and Rafael J. Tamargo

Spinal vascular lesions are rare and may be classified as a) dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), b) arteriovenous malformations, or c) perimedullary AVFs. In this narrated video illustration, we present the case of a 71-year-old woman who presented with progressive bilateral lower extremity weakness and urinary retention who was diagnosed with a thoracic spinal perimedullary arteriovenous fistula. The diagnostic studies included a thoracic MRI and spinal angiogram. A multilevel thoracic laminoplasty was performed for microsurgical obliteration of the AVF. The techniques of intraoperative angiography, thoracic laminoplasty and microsurgical obliteration and resection of the AVF are reviewed.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/5vVp3oq5sLg.

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David S. Hersh, Rajiv R. Iyer, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Ann Liu, George I. Jallo and Mari L. Groves

OBJECTIVE

Spinal deformity has become a well-recognized complication of intramedullary spinal cord tumor (IMSCT) resection. In particular, laminectomy can result in biomechanical instability caused by loss of the posterior tension band. Therefore, laminoplasty has been proposed as an alternative to laminectomy. Here, the authors describe the largest current series of pediatric patients who have undergone laminoplasty for IMSCT resection and investigate the need for surgical fusion after both laminectomy and laminoplasty.

METHODS

The medical records of pediatric patients who underwent resection of an IMSCT at a single institution between November 2003 and May 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Demographic, clinical, radiological, surgical, histopathological, and follow-up data were collected.

RESULTS

Sixty-six consecutive patients underwent resection of an IMSCT during the study period. Forty-three (65%) patients were male. The patients had a median age of 12.9 years (interquartile range [IQR] 7.2–16.5 years) at the time of surgery. Patients typically presented with a tumor that involved the cervical and/or thoracic spine. Nineteen (29%) patients underwent laminectomy, and 47 (71%) patients underwent laminoplasty. Patients in each cohort had a similar rate of postoperative deformity. Overall, 10 (15%) patients required instrumented spinal fusion for spinal deformity. Four patients required revision of the primary fusion.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings show that among pediatric patients with an IMSCT, postoperative surgical fusion rates remain high, even after laminoplasty. Known risk factors, such as the age of the patient, location of the tumor, and the number of involved levels, might play a larger role than replacement of the laminae in determining the rate of surgical fusion after IMSCT resection.

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Michelle J. Clarke, Patricia L. Zadnik, Mari L. Groves, Daniel M. Sciubba, Timothy F. Witham, Ali Bydon, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Jean-Paul Wolinsky

OBJECT

Recently, aggressive surgical techniques and a push toward en bloc resections of certain tumors have resulted in a need for creative spinal column reconstruction. Iatrogenic instability following these resections requires a thoughtful approach to adequately transfer load-bearing forces from the skull and upper cervical spine to the subaxial spine.

METHODS

The authors present a series of 7 cases in which lateral mass reconstruction with a cage or fibular strut graft was used to provide load-bearing support, including 1 case of bilateral cage placement.

RESULTS

The authors discuss the surgical nuances of en bloc resection of high cervical tumors and explain their technique for lateral mass cage placement. Additionally, they provide their rationale for the use of these constructs throughout the craniocervical junction and subaxial spine.

CONCLUSIONS

Lateral mass reconstruction provides a potential alternative or adjuvant method of restoring the load-bearing capabilities of the cervical spine.

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Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, C. Rory Goodwin, Gezzer Ortega, Fizan Abdullah, Edward Cornwell, Rafael De la Garza-Ramos, Mari L. Groves, Michael Ain, Paul D. Sponseller and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVE

Spinal arthrodesis is routinely performed in the pediatric population. However, there is limited information on the short-term outcomes of pediatric patients who have undergone spine fusion. Thus, the authors conducted a retrospective review of the Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database to determine the short-term mortality, complication, reoperation, and readmission rates of pediatric patients who underwent spinal arthrodesis for all indications.

METHODS

The Pediatric NSQIP database was queried for all patients who underwent spinal arthrodesis between 2012 and 2014. Patient demographics, comorbidities, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, and operative time were abstracted. Short-term mortality, reoperation, and readmission rates and complications were also noted. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to delineate patient risk factors that influence short-term mortality, complications, reoperation, and readmission rates.

RESULTS

A total of 4420 pediatric patients who underwent spinal fusion were identified. Common indications for surgical intervention included acquired/idiopathic scoliosis or kyphoscoliosis (71.2%) and genetic/syndromic scoliosis (10.7%). The mean patient age was 13.7 ± 2.9 years, and 70% of patients were female. The overall 30-day mortality was 0.14%. Multivariate analysis showed that female sex and pulmonary comorbidities significantly increased the odds of reoperation, with odds ratios of 1.43 and 1.78, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

In the NSQIP database for pediatric patients undergoing spinal arthrodesis for all causes, there was a 3.6% unplanned reoperation rate, a 3.96% unplanned readmission rate, and a 9.0% complication rate. This analysis provides data for risk stratification of pediatric patients undergoing spinal arthrodesis, allowing for optimized care.

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David S. Hersh, Nir Shimony, Mari L. Groves, Gerald F. Tuite, George I. Jallo, Ann Liu, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Thierry A. G. M. Huisman, Ryan J. Felling, Joseph A. Kufera and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric cerebral venous sinus thrombosis has been previously described in the setting of blunt head trauma; however, the population demographics, risk factors for thrombosis, and the risks and benefits of detection and treatment in this patient population are poorly defined. Furthermore, few reports differentiate between different forms of sinus pathology. A series of pediatric patients with skull fractures who underwent venous imaging and were diagnosed with intrinsic cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or extrinsic sinus compression is presented.

METHODS

The medical records of patients at 2 pediatric trauma centers were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who were evaluated for blunt head trauma from January 2003 to December 2013, diagnosed with a skull fracture, and underwent venous imaging were included.

RESULTS

Of 2224 pediatric patients with skull fractures following blunt trauma, 41 patients (2%) underwent venous imaging. Of these, 8 patients (20%) had intrinsic sinus thrombosis and 14 patients (34%) displayed extrinsic compression of a venous sinus. Three patients with intrinsic sinus thrombosis developed venous infarcts, and 2 of these patients were treated with anticoagulation. One patient with extrinsic sinus compression by a depressed skull fracture underwent surgical elevation of the fracture. All patients with sinus pathology were discharged to home or inpatient rehabilitation. Among patients who underwent follow-up imaging, the sinus pathology had resolved by 6 months postinjury in 80% of patients with intrinsic thrombosis as well as 80% of patients with extrinsic compression. All patients with intrinsic thrombosis or extrinsic compression had a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or 5 at their last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

In this series of pediatric trauma patients who underwent venous imaging for suspected thrombosis, the yield of detecting intrinsic thrombosis and/or extrinsic compression of a venous sinus was high. However, few patients developed venous hypertension or infarction and were subsequently treated with anticoagulation or surgical decompression of the sinus. Most had spontaneous resolution and good neurological outcomes without treatment. Therefore, in the setting of pediatric skull fractures after blunt injury, venous imaging is recommended when venous hypertension or infarction is suspected and anticoagulation is being considered. However, there is little indication for pervasive venous imaging after pediatric skull fractures, especially in light of the potential risks of CT venography or MR venography in the pediatric population and the unclear benefits of anticoagulation.

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Patricia Zadnik, Rachel Sarabia-Estrada, Mari L. Groves, Camilo Molina, Christopher Jackson, Edward McCarthy, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Ali Bydon, Jean-Paul Wolinsky, Timothy F. Witham and Daniel M. Sciubba

Object

Metastatic spine disease is prevalent in cancer victims; 10%–30% of the 1.2 million new patients diagnosed with cancer in the US exhibit spinal metastases. Unfortunately, treatments are limited for these patients, as disseminated disease is often refractory to chemotherapy and is difficult to treat with surgical intervention alone. New animal models that accurately recapitulate the human disease process are needed to study the behavior of metastases in real time.

Methods

In this study the authors report on a cell line that reliably generates bony metastases following intracardiac injection and can be tracked in real time using optical bioluminescence imaging. This line, RBC3, was derived from a metastatic breast adenocarcinoma lesion arising in the osseous spine of a rat following intracardiac injection of MDA-231 human breast cancer cells.

Results

Upon culture and reinjection of RBC3, a statistically significantly increased systemic burden of metastatic tumor was noted. The resultant spine lesions were osteolytic, as demonstrated by small animal CT scanning.

Conclusions

This cell line generates spinal metastases that can be tracked in real time and may serve as a useful tool in the study of metastatic disease in the spine.

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Paul E. Kaloostian, Patricia L. Zadnik, Jennifer E. Kim, Mari L. Groves, Jean-Paul Wolinsky, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Timothy F. Witham, Ali Bydon and Daniel M. Sciubba

Pheochromocytomas of the spine are uncommon and require careful preoperative planning. The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of 5 patients with metastatic spinal pheochromocytoma who had undergone surgical treatment over the past 10 years at their medical center. They reviewed patient age, history of pheochromocytoma resection, extent and location of metastases, history of alpha blockage, surgical level, surgical procedure, postoperative complications, tumor recurrence, and survival. Metastases involved the cervical (1 patient), thoracic (3 patients), and lumbar (2 patients) levels. Preoperative treatment included primary pheochromocytoma resection, chemotherapy, alpha blockade, embolization, and radiation. Three patients had tumor recurrence, and 2 underwent 2-stage reoperations for tumor extension. Hemodynamic complications were common: 2 patients developed pulseless electrical activity arrest within 4 months after surgery, 1 patient had profound postoperative tachycardia with fever and an elevated creatine kinase level, and 1 patient experienced transient postoperative hypotension and paraplegia. One patient died of complications related to disseminated cerebral and spinal disease.

With careful preoperative and surgical management, patients with symptomatic metastatic spinal pheochromocytoma can benefit from aggressive surgical treatment. Postoperative cardiovascular complications are common even months after surgery, and patients should be closely monitored long term.